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Ukraine To Open Chernobyl Area To Tourists 207

Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that Ukraine plans to open up the sealed zone around the Chernobyl reactor to visitors who wish to learn more about the tragedy that occurred nearly a quarter of a century ago. Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Yershova says experts are developing travel routes that will be both medically safe and informative. 'There are things to see there if one follows the official route and doesn't stray away from the group,' says Yershova. Though it is a very sad story.' The ministry also says it hopes to finish building a new safer shell for the exploded reactor by 2015 that will cover the original iron-and-concrete structure hastily built over the reactor that has been leaking radiation, cracking and threatening to collapse. About 2,500 employees maintain the remains of the now-closed nuclear plant, working in shifts to minimize their exposure to radiation and several hundred evacuees have returned to their villages in the area despite a government ban."

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